King Louis and Queen of Justification

Since my last post, where I mentioned my beloved new beau Louis (the pug) who has not yet entered my life, I have been questioned if I am actually “ready” or “equipped” to look after an animal. Obviously I live a rather crazy lifestyle of Sex and the City marathons and daily dashes to Habitual Fix for a DIY roasted vege wrap with extra jalapeños, so, blatantly, I can see where the hindrance to let a life into my own hands could occur. But last night, while driving the long, ‘off the beaten track’ journey to my home in Titirangi (around half an hour out of the city), I myself, questioned my readiness to live selflessly with another being and formed a list of justifications as to why I am ready to have the responsibility to invite Louis into the Smart family.

  • The ‘distant relationship’ with Samson – the diabetic cat

Samson was introduced into my life at the age of nine, and has since then refused to leave, regardless of what mother nature has thrown his way. Being the runt of the litter, from the beginning, I was never really that ‘wooed’ by his constant need of affection and attention. His sister -bless her soul- was more my cup of tea, she was an independent woman who caught her own meals and only hung out with men when the need was there, Lila went about her life with little regard for humans or time wasters….unfortunately her hedonistic lifestyle ended shortly after our move to Auckland, Samson, however has survived five moves…..

Its not that I don’t like him, its just that we have a lot of baggage and history that cant be forgiven or forgotten. After-all, he was the reason I ran away from home when I was ten after being told by my parents there was not enough room for me to join the Sunday morning cuddles, because Samson had stretched across my usual place. Which is only the beginning of the scarring memories, for all the countless times I have found my favourite shoes chewed and covered in fur, shits in the bathtub and whiskers in my freshly poured wine… However, I am not one to hold grudges, mistakes are made and people move on….that was, of course…until October 21st 2014…….The day my heart grew cold and an irreversible hardness in my heart formed for ‘the cat’..

My parents had left me to take care of Samson’s daily injections while they fulfilled their new found dreams to become professional jetski fishermen/fisherwoman…. I was running late to go out for dinner and revving up the driveway, when halfway up I remembered I completely forgot about his 7pm insulin hit… Im not going to lie…I did keep driving for another ten minutes, but I knew if the cat died while in my care, my mother would quite literally kick me out and remove me from the will, and with that, I turned the car around and dashed through the door, fiddling with his reused needle and barely legal drugs… and then it happened….I had just pulled the skin up from his neck and slid the needle in…when suddenly he shifted slightly to the right…. I felt the prick at the top of my finger but was so flustered and rushed I wasn’t fully aware of what was occurring until it was too late….I had just injected myself with 3.5ml of Cat Insulin………. wtf……..

It was in that exact moment I knew it was over…If I didn’t die from the sugar imbalance in my body, it would be of AID’s or TB… For a while I just sat there waiting for my finger to fall off…visions of my future flashing before my eyes…. living out of a hospital bed, countless operations, being fed through a tube for the rest of my life….After having some time to myself I pulled myself together, jumped in the car and made my way to the AnE…ready to hand my diseased self over…

Walking through the hospital doors I shivered knowing this would now be my home…I approached the front desk with caution, speaking in a low hushed tone in order to keep peace among the patients to ensure rumours of an AID’s epidemic didn’t spread throughout the city… In minuet detail, I relayed the horrific event, step by step…waiting for her urgency to kick in and her need to save my life….. However….Instead I got the blank, bored look of a librarian who just wanted to get home to her prepackaged microwave meal and ‘who wants to be a millionaire’ reruns… in a slow, monotone voice she told me I was overreacting and to go home and next time call the hospital information line before wasting petrol to get here…..Obviously, having called my parents 27 times….each…as well as, telling my friends to meet me at the hospital, I had to hold some sort of dignity in a moment of complete humiliation…So with a strong, assertive voice, for all to hear…I opened myself up to the room of patients and with a flick of my shoulder told her “If I die in my sleep, or loose my finger, this will be on the New Zealand Health Care System…..I hope they understand that”

To this day, Samson and I haven’t spoken…

  • The short life of Chicken, the goldfish

Chicken was a 20th birthday present, one that was supposed to be a bit of laugh, joke and…not a real live fish… However a few days after my birthday Chicken was delivered to my door in a little plastic baggie with a chocolate cake on the side… Completely unprepared I put him in my lunchbox with some water and started googling what goldfish eat…..You see, I was once again left alone that week while my parents were in Fiji…So I was without funds and unable to buy a tank and real food for the poor fish for a further three days until they returned… So uncle google and I set to work on what I could provide for poor Chicken in our poverish state… So within 24 hours Chicken started forming white dots all over his body…. Chicken got fish pox…. Again, I was too poor to buy any treatments so I was left to make do by covering my lunch box in lettuce….recommended by wikipedia… Unfortunately, two days later and after many homemade remedies, Chicken passed away….

But I did throw a lovely funeral for him, my friend played “Someone like you” on the piano, I wrapped him up in paper towels and decorated his tupperware coffin…. Chicken now rests under a bush in my backyard, because digging a hole was a little too much effort…

  • The disappearance of Barry and Larry, also goldfish

My mother, in Chickens final hours grew rather attached to him and felt the need to give back to the goldfish community by giving it another go, by adopting two new fish into the family. This time round I had access to some funds (thanks mum) to get a kick ass tank and some awesome feature pieces like a rock with a hole in it! So this time round my fish were not going to get fish pox with the help of a filter system and real fish food. We had a real good run, in fact, for a good eight months, Barry and Larry came to live with me in my room…on my bed side table… They were actually really good company and great listeners…

Until, once again…my parents were away and I invited a friend over who I quite liked…Showing this person around the house I finished with the tank in my room…It was in that moment I realised I was actually a little bit embarrassed…I introduced them as my friends who I get to have continual sleepovers with… and then I knew they had to go… Sleeping next to a fish tank just wasn’t a good look for my bachelorette pad… So the next day I tried carrying the tank down the stairs….only to stop halfway, realising I wasn’t actually strong enough to finish the journey…so I left them on the stairs for a while…until i found Samson fishing for dinner and found some inner superpower strength to haul them back into my room until my parents came home…

I guess you could say Barry and Larry are now living in a kind of spa retreat in Bali, but for fish…Having moved into my aunties pond, they have a bigger space, more friends and still haven’t died of fish pox, so I guess you could say everyones a winner!

I guess to conclude my past relationships and failures with all the animals that have been welcomed into the Smart household , clearly its never really been my fault and if anything I have been nothing but a victim. I really do love animals and the bond is real, but sometimes animals just need a touch of reality…you know just to keep it real…but in the end the moral of the story is…every time something went wrong my parents were away…so when I get Louis they just cant leave me….#justified


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